Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Fall 2020


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Major Professor

Charles Jahren

Second Major Professor

Peter Taylor


Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering


One of the most common curing methods for conventional concrete is external curing. Surface evaporation is a process that dries concrete pavement and decreases the cement hydration rate. External curing keeps the surface moist and mitigates surface drying by evaporation, thus enhancing surface cement hydration. Internal curing is a comparatively recent method to increase the duration of cement hydration by using various internal water reservoirs without changing the water cement ratio and fresh concrete properties in a concrete mixture. This method has been developed mainly to improve concrete durability and decrease shrinkage in concrete structures. In this study, Lightweight Fine Aggregate (LWFA) has been used as internal water reservoirs in new mixtures design applied to two county roads in Iowa. A testing regime including compressive, and tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, surface resistivity, calorimetry, and scanning electron microscopy has been applied to evaluate using LWFA. In the field, a Decagon 5TE sensor was used to measure the relative permittivity and temperature of the concrete materials after construction. The laboratory and field results showed using LWFA improved the mechanical and potential durability properties of concrete and prolong the cement hydration. At the time of its construction, using LWFA in the project was considered and various advantages and disadvantages are evaluated through the Five Dimensions of Project Management framework (5DPM) in comparison with the traditional concrete paving method. Cost and Finance analysis present that the main disadvantage of using LWFA is that it will increase initial costs up to 3.2%, while the main advantage of using LWFA is lowering the total life cycle cost up to 13.2%.

Copyright Owner

Daghighi, Amin

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